Today’s Reading: Exodus 15:19-17:7 (additional reading Psalm 27:1-6 and Proverbs 6:20-26)
Key Verse: The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” Exodus 16:3
We read today, Israel was in the wilderness on their way to Canaan. After the initial joy of freedom and the excitement of crossing the Red Sea, they began to face some very bitter experiences along the way. Hunger and thirst raised their heads and frightened them. They were frightened to the extent that they began to reminisce about the times when they use to sit by the fleshpots of Egypt and sing and eat. They became discouraged before they had hardly gotten started. They had been on the road only a few days, and yet, because they had missed a meal or two, they wanted to go back to the slave camps of Egypt!
God had broken their chains, brought them across the Red Sea, and yet they wanted to go back to making brick from mud-balls, just to eat again from fleshpots. Like Esau, they wanted to sell their future for a bite to eat. They had their eyes on Canaan, but their minds were on Egypt! They looked one way and thought another. They talked freedom but thought slavery.
Canaan or Egypt, they were halted between the call of chains and the call of promise. The Hebrews would rather go back into bondage than to pay the price of victory. So many times we act like the children of Israel and we would rather go back into the bondage of the enemy than to fight for the victory. So many times we’d rather settle for mediocrity than to strive for the pursuit and possession of the Promised Land. We’re simply too busy thinking about Egypt, our minds are still back in the world! Yes, our eyes are on Canaan, but our minds are on Egypt!
Israel was so concerned with eating from the fleshpots of Pharaoh that they were willing to give up an entire land flowing with milk and honey! How does this look to us today, well, for example, say God has delivered you from chasing women, but you’re still walking flirting with everyone or holding on to your ‘little black book’, just in case! Although He’s delivered you from gossiping, you’re still trying to get up in everybody else’s business and stirring up trouble! Although He’s delivered you from debt, you still keep a large credit limit, just in case and lust to buy the things which you can’t afford.
The Word of God says that we have to be transformed by the renewing of our mind! (Romans 12:2). Paul then writes “Forget those things which are behind and reach forward to those things which are before us and press on toward the mark of the prize of the high call of God in Christ Jesus…(Phil 3:13-14)! When running a race we fix our eyes on the goal, not looking back. The Hebrews would have done better to fix their eyes and minds on the Promised Land. They had already experienced God’s amazing provision for them. This is a lesson for us, remember how faithful God has been, let’s trust him to keep providing. He will always remain faithful! Let’s forget about how we used to think and focus our eyes and minds on him.
- What do you need to let go of in your past?
- What causes you to fear and want to go back to your old life?
Father, Thank You for Your faithfulness to us. Thank You that you never fail us. Help us to forget that which is behind and press on to the places You call us. In Jesus’ name, Amen